Western & English Today

SOURCE 17

W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.

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24 Western & English Today P H OTO G R A P H Y: CO U R T E S Y C R VA INDUSTRY NEWS L ongtime business partners Hopper Expositions and the American Equestrian Trade Association parted ways in August 2016, and now both will offer trade show opportunities to the equestrian market (as of January 2017). e split was a welcomed opportunity for AETA, explains president Kelly Herd. "AETA has grown its strength and numbers. It really needed to manage its own show," Herd says referring to AETA's former arrangement with Hopper Expositions. e separation is bringing about growth on both sides. "Because of the dissolution with our agreement with AETA, we decided to go down to Charlotte [North Carolina] and do a Western and English market [trade show]," says Kent Hopper, founder of Hopper Expositions. Herd says, AETA will be focusing on several new developments to this year's show involving reducing exhibit cost for manufacturers, as well as providing $500 in AETA bucks for retailers, free hotel nights, facilitating marketing between retailers and manufacturers, and more. "Since AETA is a non-profit organization, all of the money that is generated through the show is put back into the manufacturers' and retailers' pockets in discounts and giving show incentives for retailers to attend." Part of AETA's plan includes two days of free educational programming, new entertainment and networking, efforts toward expanding culinary options for attendees, a mobile app, and other features. "Our goal is to bring the best experience to both the retailer and the manufacturer that we can," Herd says. For Hopper, the new trade show opportunity centers on the benefits of the new locale, not least of which is the warmer weather climate. "We feel that the [Charlotte] area will definitely be a plus in the weather situation," Hopper says. "e airport is approximately seven miles from the center. Our hotels are all going to be within walking distance of the convention center. e building is a right- to-work building in a right-to-work state. e award-winning catering and food service offerings at the convention center will only enhance the buyer and exhibitor experience in Charlotte. A rewarding retailer education program has been developed. So with all those factors put together, Charlotte was a location that we felt would help us grow the market and try to include both Western and English in our show the way we had done previously." In the world of equestrian trade shows, it seems both Hopper and AETA are looking toward the future. AETA and Hopper Expositions Part Ways, Announce Changes By Lindsay Whelchel A E T A AETA International Show Oaks, Pennsylvania, January 28 – 30, 2017 www.aeta.us Charlotte International Equestrian Market Charlotte, North Carolina, February 18 – 20, 2017 August 12 – 14, 2017 www.hopperexpos.com

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